Recipe: Swiss-French Red Cabbage Salad with Apples and Raisins

It’s that time of year again, when I try to serve more vegetables to my family after weeks and months of feasting on baked goods—and I’m usually the worst offender!

My latest plan involves trying to work vegetables into all three meals, and ideally in at least two dishes. For breakfast, that means scrambled eggs with spinach. At lunch or dinner, we’ll have a salad and steamed green beans with lemon, for example. With more and newer options, I’m hoping my kids’ interest increases so they actually like eating vegetables, instead of viewing them as a necessary evil.

After a recent Sunday walk, I tried out a new a new red cabbage salad recipe from a local Swiss-French cookbook. I served it as part of leisurely brunch during our last day of the holiday break. My husband, who usually HATES mayonnaise, liked this salad. Unprompted, my 7-year old said it tasted good after his first bite. My 3-year old gave it a thumbs up, but I think he really only liked (and ate) the raisins, to be perfectly honest. We’ll keep this cabbage salad in our mealtime rotation, and I’ll have to try another one I saw recently from Migros’ made with orange juice (here’s yet another salad recipe with cabbage, orange and fennel that also looks good).


Sunday walk on Mount Vully

Salade de Chou Rouge (Red Cabbage Salad)

Recipe adapted from Recettes du terroir neuchâtelois by Francis Grandjean (2002).

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free)

Serves 6-8


500 grams red cabbage (about 1 cabbage)
1-2 apples, diced
about 1/2 cup raisins (I like golden raisins)
Optional: finely chopped chives and lettuce leaves

100 ml vegan mayonnaise (use really mayo if you can!)
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
2 teaspoons mustard
salt, to taste (I used about 1/2 teaspoon)


1. Slice the cabbage into thin strips and place in a large bowl.

2. Prepare the sauce by whisking together all the ingredients until smooth. Pour the sauce over the cabbage and toss until well-incorporated.

3.Stir in the raisins and diced apple(s). Best served the same day. Top with chopped chives and serve with fresh lettuce leaves, if desired.

For 2015, we have lots to look forward to in terms of managing my son’s milk allergy, like a food challenge next week and starting school in August. I hope you do too! Happy New Year, and Bonne Année, everyone!


Petits Pains for Hungry Kids

Sometimes, when I pick up my 6-year old from school, he’s so hungry that he’s practically crying (even though he’s already eaten breakfast and a snack at school!). It makes for such a pleasant walk home…

In order to get back to our apartment without making a huge American scene on our quiet Swiss streets, I’m starting to pack along small breads—some of which are commonly made for children and appear all over our local boulangeries. The Zopfhasen I made a while back is a good example of this. Pacifying small children with fresh bread seems to be a typical practice.


This morning, I made small, golden saffron buns. Flavored with grated lemon and orange rind and studded with cranberries and golden raisins, this recipe was super easy and thrown together quickly. It can be made without eggs, although I brushed a little beaten egg on the top. As usual, I need to spend more time shaping the dough to make them perfectly round, but these did the trick for today.

Petits Pains au Sucre

Recipe adapted from swissmilk. Make 6 buns. Sorry to my American readers… I’m being lazy and using the metric system today (as the recipe was written) instead of converting it to cups. I’m really enjoying my new kitchen scale!

250 grams farine pour tresse or zopfmehl
1/2 teaspoon salt
40 grams sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 pinch of powdered saffron
100 ml soy milk, lukewarm
1 tablespoon flax meal mixed with 3 tablespoons water (or 1 egg, beaten)
50 grams dairy-free margarine, melted
1 orange and 1 lemon, finely grated zest
2 tablespoons raisins, cranberries or mini-chocolate chips

1 egg, beaten (or 1-2 tablespoons melted dairy-free margarine)
2 tablespoons coarse sugar

1. Whisk together the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl and form a trough in the middle. Separately, add flax meal to the water in a small bowl and set aside. Then, dissolve the yeast and saffron in the warmed soy milk.

2. Add the yeast mixture along with the flax meal mixture and margarine to the trough in the large bowl. Next, add the lemon and orange peel and dried fruit. Stir together until a dough is formed. Then, knead for about 5 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Cover and let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

3. Divide the dough into 6 equal size buns. Place with sufficient distance on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let rise again for another 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Brush the rolls with egg (or melted dairy-free margarine) and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Petits Pains au sucre

4. Place in the middle of a preheated 180°C/350°F oven to bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove when lightly browned and place on a wire rack to cool. Best served the same day or freeze for later.

petits pains au sucre
I’ll be working on a local sauerkraut recipe this weekend. Wish me luck… Bon week-end, everyone!

Updated: October 7, 2014

Swiss Bread: Taillaule Neuchâteloise

My first blog post appeared exactly one year ago, as of yesterday. When I envisioned Swiss food back then, I didn’t realize that, along with chocolate and cheese, Switzerland loves its bread. In fact, this small nation has over 200 varieties of bread, including 22 pains de canteaux or cantonal breads (see also Newly Swissed’s guide to cantonal breads).

Last week, I tackled an allergy-friendly version of Cuchaule, a delicious saffron bread from the Fribourg region, and this week, I tried a bread from our own canton—Taillaule Neuchâteloise. While not the official cantonal bread, Taillaule has been around since the 18th century, according to Patrimoine Culinaire Suisse. Even now, I see it all over boulangeries in our Swiss city. A few weeks ago I bought my first loaf of Tauillaule (the real thing, full of dairy and eggs), after both my husband and a friend recommended I attempt an allergy-friendly version.

Taillaule Neuchâtel photo

Taillaule gets its name from the French verb tailler or “to cut.” Before baking, you take a scissor (or sharp knife) and make deep, horizontal cuts in the dough. Typically eaten at breakfast, this sweet bread contains raisins and candied lemon peel. I’ve also seen recipes with honey, but the recipe I adapted uses a tablespoon of rum.


Taillaule Neuchâteloise


4 cups white flour
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon peel
3 tablespoons water mixed with 1 tablespoon flax meal
1 cup rice or soy milk
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons dairy-free margarine
1 tablespoon rum
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup candied lemon peel
Glaze: 1 egg yolk, beaten OR 1-2 tablespoons vegetable-based margarine, melted

1. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl—3 cups of flour, salt, sugar, yeast and fresh lemon peel. Set aside.

2. Separately, mix together the milk substitute, water, margarine and rum. Gently heat in a small saucepan, stirring constantly, just until the margarine is melted.

3. Mix flax meal with water and set aside for a few minutes. Then, add the flax meal mixture to the dry ingredients along with the warmed liquid ingredients. Stir together to form dough. Knead for about 10 minutes, gradually adding in the remaining 1 cup of flour. During about the last 2 minutes of kneading, add the raisins and candied lemon peel, and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic.


4. Place in a covered bowl. Let rise until doubled in size, about one hour.

5. Punch down the dough and divide into 2 pieces. Gently press each piece of dough into a rectangle shape, roll the dough into a cylinder, and tuck under the edges. Place into 2 pans (about 20 cm or 8.5 by 4 inches), greased and/or lined with parchment paper. Let the dough rise again for about 30 minutes. Note: You could also make two free-form loaves without pans, if you don’t have the exact pan size.

6. Separate an egg and brush the yolk on the bread. Use kitchen shears or scissors to make alternating horizontal cuts in the dough.


7. Bake at 180°C/350°F for 30 to 35 minutes. If necessary, cover with aluminum foil during the last 5-10 minutes to prevent the crust from getting too brown.


I look forward to sharing another bread recipe soon. However, I’m not sure I can keep up the once-a-week bread recipe pace. We ate a lot of bread cette semaine! How do the Swiss do it?! Bon week-end!